Hearing someone tell you that you have Caner isn’t good news. It sucks, its a diagnosis, but it isn’t the end of your life either unless….YOU choose to stop living it. I’ve tried to find the humor and goodness in this minor problem that I have and that is what gets me through each day. You’ve read that Chad calls me “Sunshine”, well each day it’s like searching the storm clouds for that rainbow when the sun comes out again. Even in the midst of the storm I’m in right now, there are more than an abundant amount of blessings to be found. We’ve had blessings poured around us for nearly two months and it’s been surreal.
Today is my second treatment out of eight. Most people dread going to Chemotherapy, some can’t even drive by the hospital on their off days. I, however strange it may seem, actually look forward to chemo. This particular morning was filled with doctor’s visits and lab work that all had to be completed before I could get the chemo. Most everybody I came in contact with were shocked to see that I still had my hair with the heavy regime they have me on. I would smile and simply say that this would be one of many times they would see this chickadee defy the odds. I pretty much have no place to go but up. I told them once and I will keep telling them every time I see them that Mr. or Mrs. C has messed with the wrong gal.
My labs looked rather divine as well. Doctor R. said if someone where to look at my labs, nobody would be able to tell that I was sick or currently on chemotherapy. The labs show that I am a healthy girl with the exception of one simple lab….the CEA, which is the cancer marker. My immune system was at a 5.9 before I began treatment and after chemo, it was a 6.4!!!! What in the world….my immune system is healthier after chemo than before?? Now that’s some crazy stuff. Part of that we know is due to the shot I have to go back in the day after chemo to get, but I would like to say the other 90% is as a result of myself and all of you who are praying for me daily. We do know all of those levels will slowly change with time and each beating my body takes, but my doctor was very excited at how well I did through the first treatment and the simple fact that we didn’t need to change anything. We were going to move ahead full steam and continue attaching the evilness that invaded my body without permission. We discussed the Avastin drug as well since we received the second denial from my insurance company denying coverage. Doctor R. flat out said he wasn’t sure if the hospital would be allow him to give it to me or not because of the cost and the fact that they up-fronted the cost for the first dose two weeks ago hoping to get reimbursed from my insurance. I was thinking, are you serious???? You may not give me something you said I need to beat this cancer? I had tears in my eyes as I said to him…….YOU need to give this drug to me, I NEED to have it. If this hospital wants me to write out a check for this drug right now, then I was prepared and willing to do it. It’s not everyday (or any day)that I can say, here….let me write you an $11,000 check. But you know why I was prepared to do that, right?? It’s because of all of you out there, my friends and family who have been so selfishly working hard on fundraising for me. It felt so good to say, give it to me, WE can pay. I say we because it is because of you (my readers) all that I was in a position to tell the doc give it to me.
After seeing my oncologist, Dr. R, it was then time for me to get the good stuff, the stuff that’s going to save my life. This has become my quiet time to spend with this F.I.N.E. lookin’ fella.
Our lives were crazy busy before my diagnosis and sometimes I think it’s even more busy now. The treatment room is now a place to come where I find some sort of peace. There are no signs of the crazy world thats just outside the walls. Chad and I found our usual spot in the back corner (because I still have hair and therefore still considered a “newby”). We get comfy and he covers me with one of my “special” blankets that have been either made or bought with love and given to me just for this purpose. I think of the person who gave me the blanket and am again reminded of just how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life.
The nurse comes, finds my port, and then it all begins. Chad and I have nearly four hours to ourselves to just talk, hold hands, make fun of each other, see who can take the worst picture of each other and then eventually Darth Vader enters the scene. You see, it doesn’t take long before Chad is out like a light and I get to listen to him snore, which is hauntingly similar to the sound that Darth Vader makes when breathing!! One of these days I’m going to have him checked out. I don’t mind that he drifts off, he’s funny to look at while sleeping, but more than that, I’m enjoying a closer relationship with the one who’s making this journey with me, sitting beside me in the next chemo chair. As he gets his beauty sleep, I want try to nap myself, but unfortunately I’m been unable to relax enough to make that happen.
I try desperately to get comfortable in my “Lazy Boy” recliner and end up starring for hours at these two feet that have carried me through the 36 years of my life. So many miles these two feet and 10 toes have put on, very fun miles. My mind wondered back to my high school years. I save cards during the week from my high school friends and then read them and their words of encouragement during my treatments. They make me laugh, they make me cry and they make me thing of the crazy times I’ve shared with people. They often bring up funny memories they’ve had with me and my gosh…..there have been a lot of them. Chad and I have often joked about our life together and we could probably write quite a comical book together of all we’ve been through. It’s a good thing I will be the one who will be bald because if you look closely at Chad’s face/head, you will see several “love marks” or most would call them scars. Those are all marks that are as a result of him running through the dark field outside my house. He would always come to my window at night and we would chat and hold fingers, not hands, through a torn part of the screen. We just wanted to be touching and fingers were always safe. haha My parents always seemed to come home earlier than they would tell us, or maybe that was really the plan, cause Chad would have to bail and take off running through the bushes. My father had instilled “fear” in Chad and when he would take off running there was no turning back, which resulted in him running head on into a few trees and even a barb-wired fence a time or two during our dating years. LOL In reality, his head looks as if he had been to war and back, but then again…..if you know my father it’s sort of the same thing! (Love you dad!)
If I’m not looking down, then I”m looking up at this beautiful piece of art work. This is the source of my inability to relax and take a cat nap. I sit and watch drip by drip this deadly poison run down the tubes and straight into my chest…..drip, drip, drip. At first I taste the salty saline solution, then the headache hits, followed by the yummy taste of metal. I promise I don’t have a nail, screw, or a piece of money in my mouth to cause this taste. You haven’t seen me on the show “My Strange Addictions” either. However, I highly recommend you watch an episode or two. I don’t qualify as that kind of crazy yet! As I lay there, I just have to keep reminding myself that although this is some of the deadliest crap I will ever put in my body, I know I need it to save my life. My feet have so many more miles left to give on his earth and I know my kids need and want my feet around to give them a good kick in the butt (okay love tap) when they’re out of line. I look forward to being able to special order shoes that have an 3-inch thick soles on them and only come in black and brown. I will top off those stylish shoes with nylons rolled into a doughnut worn just above the ankle.
Before you know it, I look at the clock, realize I didn’t get any beauty rest, Darth Vader is still breathing, I don’t have any Thank You cards written, I didn’t update the blog, but I reassured myself of one very big To-Do on my list this day and every day moving forward. It’s as simple as this…..”Don’t wrestle, just nestle”. God gather’s us under His wings as a hen gathers her chicks for protection and rest. My part is to just rest in the loving arms of God and nestle. I felt his loving arms around me holding me tight the day I walked into that doctor’s office and he hasn’t let me go since. It’s a feeling I wish you all could feel, yet wouldn’t wish this upon any of you either. People will often say, “I’m so sorry”. It’s awkward for me and I say back, it’s okay……..well gosh darnit, the situation is NOT okay by a long shot…………but do want you to know THAT I AM OKAY because He gives us no more than He give us the strength to bear. I just wish He didn’t have so much confidence in me!!